Soaking Up the Unknown

Elizabeth Ollila - Ecuador


September 15, 2017

I have always been baffled at how you can only live an experience once, and after that it will never again be the unknown. This concepts daunts me as I live in a many times described “experience of a lifetime” because half of me knows that I must soak up every. single. second. while the other half of me is only human and cannot help but think of the after, seeing my family, and going back to comfort.

Right now I am days from meeting the people that will soon mean so much to me because soon I meet my "permanent host family." Today they are strangers, but so soon they will be family. I cannot even picture the valley of Girón that will very soon be my “casa,” and the kids I will soon be working with have yet to make an imprint on my heart. Right now I am in a place of unknown that will never again be unknown, and while I am anxiously waiting for the most important and largest part of my year to begin, I am also trying to live in this place of unknown because it, too, is important.

Just a few weeks ago my fellow GCY friends were unknown, but now this conglomeration of people from all over the world that were as nuts as me have become my comfort (many are pictured below). The people that I am taking on this insane and amazing journey with are unbeatable, and they have become my support system. Even though they know nothing of Chapel Hill or my childhood, still they are my home away from home. However, tomorrow, I say good-bye to half of them as they venture north and I venture south. I know that these goodbyes—the ones at home and the ones tomorrow—are only so painful because I am so lucky, but, believe me, that will be hard to remember as I say goodbye to some of my best friends and the only people who can understand this crazy life I am living right now.

I came here to learn and experience, and part of that is living in the unknown. My biggest unknown now has a short life left, and 4 months from now, when the valley heat is burning my skin, my 13, 4, and 2 year old host siblings are annoying me, and I do not want to go to work, I have to remember the year of waiting I have done for those 7 months, and the lifetime of wishing I will do just wanting to go back.

So, Elizabeth of Girón, if you are reading this, take a minute to enjoy because right now I want so badly to be there, and I am confident that "future you" does too.

Con amor,

Elizabeth

P.S. I absolutely love when you all comment! I love to hear your thoughts, and the comfort that each of you bring to me is appreciated more than you know 🙂 So, thank you! And below are some pictures of me with my new friends!


Inline image 1

Just trying to blend in with the map and find our way around Quito (our home for 2 weeks)

My region group! Aka the people that will be very sick of me after these 7 months


Part of the group headed off to the south of Ecuador with me!

One of my good friends, Leandra 🙂

GCY ECUADOR COHORT 2018!!

Elizabeth Ollila